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Bishop allowed to travel to Turkish Cyprus, worship at monastery

Catholic World News - October 23, 2013

For the first time in 18 months, a bishop of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus has been allowed to worship in the portion of his diocese that lies in Turkish Cyprus.

In 1974, Turkey invaded the Cyprus and occupied 40% of the island.

Two days after Bishop Christoforos of Karpasia’s visit to a monastery in Turkish Cyprus, the Grand Mufti of Cyprus was permitted to cross into Greek Cyprus and hold a service at a mosque.

“These may seem like small steps, but they constitute a huge leap for the religious communities concerned,” said Heiner Bielefeldt, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. “I am very pleased about the recent positive developments and improved climate of interreligious communication in Cyprus. I consider it a breakthrough for religious freedom on the whole island.”

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